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Elizabethton City Council getting ready for spring

John Thompson • Updated Mar 12, 2020 at 9:51 PM

ELIZABETHTON — There was a strong hint of spring in the air for the March meeting of the Elizabethton City Council. Among the items discussed and considered were baseball, golf, classic car cruising and the annual Covered Bridge Days festival held in early June in downtown Elizabethton.

Thursday night was the first time the council has had to vote on a Covered Bridge Days resolution since the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department took over the leadership of the event a month ago from the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce. The event was set for the second week of June in order to allow acts to be booked for the festival’s entertainment and for the street vendors to know when to set up.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution of support for Minor League Baseball and the Elizabethton Twins. The resolution noted the Appalachian League provides a chance for citizens of Elizabethton and for the citizens of nine other communities in the region to enjoy professional baseball.

The city of Elizabethton also supported Minor League Baseball by committing to recent improvements at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark. The city has provided funding for an improved lighting system, drainage system, dugouts, concession stand, restrooms, batting cage, new outfield wall, additional paved parking, and a new entrance to the stadium.

In the resolution, the city expressed formal support for theTwins, the Appalachian League, and keeping Minor League Baseball in the United States.

Th council also requested the Tennessee General Assembly, the governor, and the Tennessee congressional delegation take formal action to keep Minor League Baseball in Tennessee and the U.S.

The council also heard an upbeat report on the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course, which is now managed by Hampton Golf. The councilmen heard financial numbers that have shown improvement over the past two years. Several council members also praised the food being served in the new restaurant.

While the golf course took a hit last year when the Carter County Sheriff’s Office was no longer able to provide free labor from the county jail, the full-time maintenance workers were thanked for providing a better landscape.

The council also approved another year of downtown activities for the Carter County Car Club’s Cruise-Ins. The club will hold the cruise-ins every Saturday night from 4-9 except when the weather is bad. The events will run from April 4 to Oct. 31 this year.

Councilman Richard Barker asked about the cost of providing police security and cleanup for the events, Ron McCloud, treasurer of the Car Club, said the club had never asked for the help, that a former city manager had ordered it.

McCloud said the club would be reluctant to pay for the service, since he said every penny raised by the shows is donated to children’s charities. McCloud said it was up to the city to decide whether to keep up the police presence. He said the club could set up the traffic barrels and pick up the trash and put it in litter cans after the events.

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